Hong Kong tourists are gradually returning to Manila

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 August, 2012, 2:46am

Hong Kong tourists are slowly returning to Manila despite the imposition of a black travel advisory - the highest-level warning - following the hostage shootings two years ago.

While slightly more Hong Kong tourists visited the capital of the Philippines in the first half of this year, the number is still below that prior to the tragedy. The Philippines' Department of Tourism said Hong Kong accounted for 57,790 of the 2.14 million visitors from January to June, a rise of 2.36 per cent from the same period last year.

In the first six months of 2010 - before the August 23 incident - 71,867 visitors from Hong Kong were recorded.

The tourism department noted that the number of visitors from mainland China to Manila rose the most - by 43 per cent - from January to June, making mainland China the fourth biggest tourism market for the Philippines, after Korea, America and Japan.

To boost tourism from Hong Kong, airlines have in the past year launched direct flights to Kalibo, which serves Boracay. Three more airlines have started flying between the city and Clark.